Collected melancholy

a dead bee
              on the bus seat,
a bipolar daughter
                        cherishing her hands,
       she’s ‘miles away’


in every second poem –

     All the reasons not to believe in anything anymore
Words lost and scattered all along the path
                    There’s nothing left to say
The wind rises
                          The world slips away
                                                              The other side

The Arc surrounding this grim landscape
is losing its colour
                        I think it’s wearing out

   Hang on
   And leave a faint memory on earth
   A gesture of regret
   A sour expression
                     What I did best

    & further
                        sombre artifice


walking from sulphide to bromide
             some scenographic terrain –
 the indian ocean looks choppy
                                           from the plane,
         its clobbered shore already sunk


holding the baby
           with the peachy fur dome head
& making jokes
                       about already dead poets,
nearly dead, halfway dead,
         lining up for ‘Reading Australia’
                   now, what is that?


here he goes again,
                       the brilliant sad sack –

      There is no longer even a place
       For the words I will leave


yesterday, you were found
                                on wikipedia
     blogging your new album
                            on a national bluegrass site,
         then, scrolling down –
 you’d died
                seven months ago

 O closed heart O heavy heart O deep heart
 You will never get used to sorrow


perhaps this place
                 takes itself seriously –
‘Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions’,
                                     in time  ( you wonder)  when
                     did emotions begin?

Note: ‘the brilliant sad sack’ comes from Pierre Reverdy

Pam Brown

Pam Brown has published many chapbooks, pamphlets and full collections of poetry, most recently Stasis Shuffle (Hunter Publishers, 2021). She lives in a south Sydney suburb on reclaimed swampland on Gadigal Country.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays